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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Agnetha the Ace. Added appreciation.

 Note: This early post is part of an unofficial website examining the music and solo career of ex-ABBA star Agnetha Fältskog. Link to front page...

Please forgive the new-found fascination. Mr. D. Tails was WAY behind the curve on this one. Only by 30 years or so....

Perhaps better late than never.

Per recent posts here, I closed my mind (itsa link) and ignored the preeminent pop group from the 1970's. For some not-very-good "rock elitist" reasons, I suppose. Didn't take me long (did it?), but they finally have been "granted"a good listen during the past several days. (And still listening....)

BTW, this band seemed to have done "quite well".... without my support.

Unfortunately for my two readers, there is likely even more to come about this (much) belated fascination.... with ABBA. The entire band worked diligently at their art way back then. They mostly stayed grounded to earth, despite massive popularity. And the Agnetha Faltskog/Anni-Frid Lyngstad wonderful, meshing COMBINATION was real vocal magic. (Oxymoron.)

But I'll begin wending through this latest ramble, raving (yes) again -- like millions of others -- about "the package" presented to the world in the form of underrated Agnetha. From the '70s world stage: Can't recall a comparable, popular music talent AND female beauty "package". And yes, I'm a long-time Stevie Nicks admirer. (Christine McVie, too.) Olivia Newton-John definitely "qualifies" from the period, but to my ears the stronger voice is owned by Agnetha. (Pronounced [aŋˈneːta]. A short, funny video (link) has a pronunciation for us at the end.)



Not enough time or space (perhaps in the universe), so I'll try to focus upon this siren's pure, Connie Francis-styled soprano. (I think she'd be called a soprano. She had a lower range, too.) But....(here we go again...) check out some ABBA mid-to-late 70's vids on YouTube: The camera loved the young blonde lady. (ABBA knew this for sure.) And she could also love it BACK pretty good (as part of her band focal point/on-stage/actress role) . Among other talents she was an "ace" (pro) at locating/affixing the live camera with that great gaze and smile. (Music video/performance video was still emerging back then.) She'd sometimes "flirt" nicely with it, too...on purpose. E.g., The outfits/antics displayed are exaggerated and sexist -- sometimes miss that -- but examples of Agnetha's (apparently) famous lower-lip-bite, plus pre-planned but nicely-done camera flirting; here. (BOTH ladies: Camped it up good.)

Eye-shadow and lashes were made for "super-blonde". Good straight eyebrows (furrowed when necessary) in the earlier ABBA years, too. And many already know that this adept female "package" was awarded the purported "Best Bottom in Europe" award in 1977. (Also on display a bit in the previous link. Nice "ballast": Helped grace some of her maneuvers on stage....) Etc., etc. (Sorry....will stop soon.)

So although outwardly shy in person and also about her English (unnecessarily), the girlish-voiced one shone when the lights came on. If interested, check out some historic ABBA/Agnetha vids. on YouTube (like "Waterloo" ones, "S.O.S.", and some later, "Voulez-Vous" ones); for confirmation of this....This lady was a star. (Only took me five or so paragraphs to "get there"....) In public view, possibly the 'hottest', talented young woman on the planet for awhile.... for my 2 cents.

Fair and balanced: From the vids., my eyes say that her also-talented, good-looking friend Frida was even better looking as 1970's time went by. Her richer mezzo voice; absolutely essential to the band's harmonies and singing success. On higher fidelity ABBA song recordings, Anni-Frid often carries it. (Agnetha's voice more of a dramatic accentuation in/to some songs.) 

But it's still ace Agnetha's stirring voice that I really....love. Uhh.... from back then of course. (It's her voice, her voice.... keep... telling myself this.) Embedding the following from YouTube. Blonde Connie Francis: Front and down-right, please (after the 'roos).

Emotion. Clarity. Power. Range. It's all in that plaintive voice.




2011: Yep...the YT video above has been yanked, (apparently) per 'Tokyo Broadcasting System' jerks....As if viewing the low-res. "live" performance 35 years later is somehow harmful (to that gigantic entity, etc.).  
(Also; if I'm mainly an Agnetha fan, where is a 'Best of Agnetha' DVD that I can purchase??)

Anyway, here is another, current link to a lower-quality video of the same performance. (Still a nice job...): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DinorrElWM

BTW: An excellent article about ABBA's "Hasta Mañana" is linked here, from the official ABBA site.

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